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Report: Lesbian chief cleared of frat charges at court-martial

Aug. 9, 2013 - 01:59PM   |  
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A Navy judge dismissed fraternization charges against a female chief petty officer Aug. 7 at a Great Lakes, Ill., court-martial where she’d been accused of an improper relationship with a female petty officer, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Navy prosecutors could not prove the relationship between Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF/SW) Sabrina Russell and Electronics Technician 1st Class (SW) Jodi Geibel, who entered into a civil union in November, was “prejudicial to good order and discipline,” the judge, Cmdr. Charles Stimson, ruled, according to the report.

Both sailors work at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, but not in what their lawyer, retired Marine Corps judge advocate Eric Montalvo, called a “senior-subordinate relationship.” Montalvo argued the women began communicating online in 2010, when they were both first classes, and that a heterosexual couple would not face fraternization charges in a similar situation.

Geibel accepted nonjudicial punishment — a $2,000 fine and the removal of her recruit division commander qualification — but is appealing, Montalvo said. Russell refused NJP and went to court-martial.

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